Gothenburg congestion charges get green light

The first step towards introducing congestion charges in Gothenburg was taken on Thursday evening when council leaders met to fine-tune a proposal, which will now be submitted to the Swedish parliament.

Gothenburg congestion charges get green light

The suggestion to introduced charges by 2013 would follow the Stockholm scheme. Charges would be payable for driving within city limits set by the council on week days between 6.30am and 6.29pm.

Tourists and locals will be given an annual respite in the plan, which proposes a temporary halt to charges during the month of July.

Owners of cars classified as ‘green’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ will not be excluded from the charges and also be expected to cough up cash for the privilege of driving in the city.

The council had two alternatives when choosing the zone affected by the charges and opted for a smaller area encircled by 40 pay stations, each with a 10 kronor fee. ($1.35)

“It will be like it is in Stockholm,” said Hans Linderstad, council planning manager. “The cars will pass a overhead portal where a camera will identify their number plates.”

The proposal is part of a bigger infrastructure package for Gothenburg to the tune of around 30 billion kronor ($4 billion).

The government has pledged 15 billion kronor to invest in roadworks and public transport in the city.

Responding to comments in newspaper Göteborgs-Posten from over 1,000 displeased locals, Anneli Hultén said the decision had to be viewed from a long-term perspective.

“We didn’t really know whether it would become a reality,” she told to GP.

“It provides us with money and means we are doing our bit for the environment and climate change. When the children of today are grown up there will hopefully be a good public transport system and solid infrastructure,” she added.

Congestions charges were first launched in Sweden in 2007 when Stockholm became the first city to introduce a scheme after a trial period.

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Red-green coalition takes power in Gothenburg

The Social Democrats, Green Party and Left Party have managed to oust the right-wing Moderates from power in Gothenburg, despite failing to strike a coalition deal with the Centre Party.

Red-green coalition takes power in Gothenburg

The Social Democrats, Left Party and Green Party will now take over the municipality with Jonas Attenius, group leader for the Social Democrats in the city, becoming the new mayor.

“We three parties are ready to together take responsibility for leading Gothenburg,” Attenius wrote to TT. “I am looking forward immensely to leading Gothenburg in the coming years.” 

The three parties will lead a minority government, with 40 out of 81 mandates, meaning it will dependent on mandates from the Centre Party to pass proposals. 

The three parties had hoped to bring the Centre Party into the coalition, but talks fell apart on Monday,  October 24th. 

“We our going into opposition, but our goal is to be an independent, liberal force, which can negotiate both to the left and to the right,” the party’s group leader in Gothenburg, Emmyly Bönfors told the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper. 

The end of talks in Gothenburg leave the Social Democrats leading coalition governments in all three of Sweden’s major cities, with Karin Wanngård appointed Mayor of Stockholm on October 17th. 

The Social Democrats had unbroken control in Malmö since 1994, after they regained power from the Moderates, who controlled the city from 1991-1994, and also from 1985-1988.